The Twelfth Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution
Editorial of Issue 68 of Frontline Newspaper, mouthpiece of the revolutionary left in Syria
As the world, region, and local contexts are experiencing increased turbulence compared to the past, the 12th anniversary of the Syrian revolution is being marked. This great popular revolution was defeated by the collusion of multiple parties, which countered it with a counter-revolution and drowned it in seas of blood and destruction. The rapid deterioration of the Syrian revolution was very clear by the year 2013.
The cost of the defeat of the Syrian revolution has been and continues to be very high: massive destruction of many cities, suburbs, and villages; extensive destruction of infrastructure that provided a certain level of livelihood for people and millions of refugees and displaced persons; approximately two million dead and war-maimed; countless wounded; and nearly a quarter of a million detainees, abductees, and disappeared persons. The vast majority of Syrians have been pushed to the brink of poverty and extreme destitution. Meanwhile, a clique of warlords and bourgeoisie has flourished at the expense of what remains of the Syrian people’s livelihood.
Although the cost of the defeated revolution is enormous and horrific, the uprising of mass protests remains alive and ongoing, here and there, and there is a growing overall enthusiasm among Syrians to care about public affairs in various forms: political, social, and media. The barrier of fear to express opinions has been lowered to a minimum, while there remains a fierce desire among the majority of Syrians to live in peace, freedom, and dignity. In addition, the project of self-administration in the northeast of the country carries a progressive alternative, entirely different from what exists under the regime or in areas of Turkish occupation.
In facing this complex situation and dealing with it, the positions of some Syrian leftists and democrats are divided into three types:
The first group believes that the overall situation is a situation of defeat and reactionary regression. Therefore, there is nothing that can be done, so they retreated and stood watching, waiting for conditions to improve.
The second group sees the revolution as still alive and ongoing, and some of them consider any civilian movement, for example, as a revolutionary movement and a sign of it, immersing themselves in empty rhetoric separate from the revolution.
While the third position we adopt takes into account the harsh defeat of the revolution and that we are going through a period of retrogression, it sees that this does not mean surrendering to this miserable reality or resorting to common opportunistic forms. Rather, it calls for engagement in all popular struggles, no matter how partial or demanding they may be, and unifying them, raising their level, and working to build united fronts based on self-administration to work together on the fundamental issues that we see as posed by reality, which are peace and humanitarian issues, restoring national unity through democratic change and building a decentralized democratic system, removing all occupation forces and restoring the Syrian people’s independence, freedom, destiny, and social justice.
In any case, we do not forget an important lesson, which is the necessity of continuing to work on building the popular revolutionary workers’ party, which we are doing under all circumstances.
Amidst this great liberation struggle, and despite the harsh current conditions, the flame of the will to liberation remains burning among all Syrians, as the Kurdish people celebrate the Noruz holiday after a long deprivation. The will of the Syrian masses, regardless of their national, religious, or regional affiliation, is to continue their struggle for comprehensive liberation.